Chicago for Obama
Photo: AFP
US rabbis launch campaign for Obama
Jewish religious leaders join forces in support of Democratic candidate. ‘With his tough but pragmatic approach to Iran, Senator Obama is in best position to restore faith in America,' they say
WASHINGTON – More than 300 rabbis from all streams of Judaism signed a document expressing their support for Democratic candidate Barack Obama for president of the United States.


The initiative was launched in Senator Obama's home state of Illinois, with hundreds of rabbis adding their names to the proclamation of support.

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The struggle for the Jewish voice is crucial to the Obama campaign, as it is to Republican rival John McCain - particularly in swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida, which both have large Jewish communities.


Despite the early Obama backlash, 80% of the Jews who intend on keeping with their traditional voting pattern (i.e. - staunchly Democrat), now say they back Obama.


However, the Democratic candidate has been suffering in southern Florida, where the older Jewish community tends to lean to the right in regards to their support for Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Obama supporter at Democratic Convention (Photo: AFP)


Thus, the Obama headquarters decided to send Senator Hillary Clinton to the problem state in order to redirect support to her previous rival.


The letter signed by the rabbis displays their stance on Obama’s pro-Israel inclinations.


Moreover, “we fear that the attempts by some to use Israel as a wedge issue against him, unjustifiably is dangerous in that it politicizes the pro-Israel position.”


The rabbis wrote that these “continuing efforts to defame him and distort his record help perpetuate a deeply disturbing political process in our country.”


'Tough but pragmatic'

"With his tough but pragmatic approach to Iran, Senator Obama is in the best position to restore faith in America as a leader in the fight against serious threats to Israel, our allies, and the United States," they write.


In their expression of support, the rabbis also noted that they are aware of the mud slinging campaign against Obama which in essence began within the Jewish community.


“We feel it is our duty as Jewish leaders to fight for the truth and against Lashon Hara (slander). Senator Obama has been viciously attacked using innuendoes, rumors, and guilt by association, and we urge our fellow American Jews to judge Senator Obama based on his own record and the clear statements he has made about his personal beliefs and principles,” they wrote.


The rabbis set up a special internet site to explain their agenda and encourage others to hop on the bandwagon.


“Three hundred rabbis is just the beginning of the campaign,” said a source in the Jewish community. There are currently an estimated 5,000 rabbis active in the United States.


פרסום ראשון: 09.10.08, 19:14
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